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NFL San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree Set For Breakout 2014 Season

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Crabtree was last seen on the wrong end of a highlight that has been played over and over millions of times. The problem is that he was on the wrong end of the deciding play that placed the Seattle Seahawks into the Super Bowl. The pass from Colin Kaepernick intended for Crabtree was deflected by Richard Sherman and then intercepted by Malcolm Smith.

We know what happened after as Sherman went on a WWE rant about the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver. Seeing yourself over and over on the wrong end of a highlight of that nature will light a fire under anyone. One highlight alone can cloud the judgement of causal fans. What people may not know is Crabtree has gotten the best of Sherman on several occasions, but in that case Sherman won the battle. During the past few seasons in the NFC West, Crabtree and Sherman have had their fair share of battles.

Sherman knows that Crabtree is not a mediocre receiver, and it is up to Crabtree to take his game to new heights. This upcoming season the 49ers have a lot of pressure on them to win a Super Bowl. It should be Super Bowl or bust in San Francisco, and No. 15 will have a lot do with the team’s success. Kaepernick missed Crabtree for most of last season, and this will be the first time (barring injury) that Crabtree will be on the field for a full season with Kaepernick, Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin. It also helps that the 49ers brought in Stevie Johnson, meaning defenses will have to pick their poison.

It may be hard to believe, but Crabtree only has one 1,000-yard season in his career. Prior to tearing his Achilles he was on course to be one of the best players at his position.

With a new motivation to silence critics and having a chance to cash in during free agency, I expect Crabtree to make the Pro Bowl and help take the 49ers offense to a new level.

Ronnie Hampston is a San Francisco 49ers writer for Rantsports.com, follow him on Twitter @Ron_Hamp, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.